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Marquette Women’s Soccer Preview: vs DePaul

Winner gets to be the #1 seed in the Big East tournament.

Villanova Wildcats v DePaul Blue Demons
Just gonna keep using these 10 year old pictures of DePaul’s mascot
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

A Marquette win on Friday night makes them the #1 seed in the Big East tournament.

It’s that simple.

They’ll have to share the Big East regular season title with DePaul, as they’ll both finish with 21 points in that circumstance. But because Friday night’s win will be over the Blue Demons, that gives Marquette the head-to-head tiebreaker and the #1 seed.

It’s been a long way since I questioned whether or not Marquette had it in them to actually accomplish their goal of winning the regular season title, and now they’re just 90 minutes and a goal differential of +1 away from doing it. It’s also Senior Night for the Golden Eagles, which means that MU’s 10 seniors, including all-Big East honorees Liz Bartels and Morgan Proffitt, will get an opportunity to end their collegiate careers the way they started them: as Big East champions.

There are, of course, other possibilities than Marquette winning on Friday night. They’ve already been covered in this article, which contains a rundown of all the possibilities in front of every Big East team still alive for a conference tournament berth. The worst case scenario for the Golden Eagles is hosting a quarterfinal match next week, which really isn’t the worst thing ever, either.

There is one player listed as a senior on the Marquette roster who won’t be honored on Friday. That’s redshirt senior Darian Powell. She’s already been approved for a sixth season after missing all of her first two seasons on campus due to injury. In fact, the Marquette Tribune’s article on Powell and her strength to rehab and return contained a fact that I didn’t realize until I read it: Darian Powell is sitting on 18 career goals and needs just two in order to tie Lanette Rossini for the 10th most in program history. Since she’s coming back next year, grabbing another nine goals and moving into the top five all time is completely a possibility.

Big East Match #9: vs DePaul (10-5-2, 7-1-0 Big East)

When: Friday, October 28, 2016 at 7pm CT
Where: Valley Fields
Audio/Visual: The Big East Digital Network on Fox Sports Go has the video stream & there’s live stats.
Special Promotions: Wear your Halloween costumes, kids! You can trick or treat at the game & there will be a costume parade and contest at halftime! Season ticket holders can bring two friends as they all get 2 extra free tickets for the match.
Twitter Updates: @MUWomensSoccer

Marquette is 13-5-1 all time against DePaul. However, the Golden Eagles are winless in their last three contests against the Blue Demons, which includes home and road losses and a Big East tournament draw in 2014 where DePaul advanced on penalty kicks.

It’s not actually a surprise that the Blue Demons are sitting on top the league standings with one match left to play. The Big East’s coaches did pick them to finish second in their preseason poll. Now, after they had a rough patch in non-conference play (they were just 3-4-2), it might not have looked like they could get there. However, just like Marquette did, DePaul thrived against their conference foes and are on the verge of a regular season title.

In order to grab that #1 seed, Marquette will be tasked with shutting down a DePaul offense that 1) tallied over 40 goals this season and 2) completely obliterated #7 Georgetown 4-1 back on Sunday with all four goals coming in the first half. The Blue Demons have five different players who have scored at least five goals this season, led by 10 from senior forward Abby Reed. The most surprising name on the list is senior defender Taylor Schissler. Coming into the year, Schissler had scored three total goals in two years at Ohio State and one with DePaul. She’s found the back of the net five times this year, and her six assists (tied for the second most in the league) make her a dangerous player no matter where she is on the field.

After barely playing her first two years in Lincoln Park, keeper Lauren Frasca has done a decent enough job in net for DePaul. She hasn’t been “best keeper in the league” like Alejandria Godinez was, but she’s been doing enough to get the Blue Demons to win matches. She allows 1.33 goals per 90 minutes, which means MU can get to DePaul, and she only stops 59% of shots on net. MU is already a pretty selective team when it comes to firing shot, with 44% of their total shots coming as shots on goal. If they can combine that smart shooting with some active work in front of Frasca, the Golden Eagles should be hoisting a trophy at the end of the night.